By | September 15, 2008 29 Comments

Young pop star scores with sociopathic hit song

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader in the UK:

I wonder what your take on this pop-music video is? This song is played ad-infinitum on radio stations in the UK; you simply can’t escape it. What disturbs me is its indifference toward the glorification of sociopathic, even psychopathic, behaviour. Clearly the character the singer is playing out has a taste for control; inflicting degrading, humiliating behaviour, even torture, pain and —as the finale of the video suggests—murder; everything the UN Convention on Human Rights was meant to prevent.

The reader included a link to the song Sweet About Me, by Gabriella Cilmi, on YouTube. Here it is:

Quite frankly, the video is shocking.

It starts out like a typical music video with Cilmi singing in front of what appears to be a reggae-style garage band. We see quick cuts of young men—not part of the band—bopping their heads to the beat. Then, 40 seconds into the song, Climi sings the lyrics,

“Tell you something that I’ve found, that the world’s a better place when it’s upside down, boy.”

The camera shows a young man bound and hanging from the ceiling by his feet. We then get to the chorus:

“Sweet about me, nothing sweet about me, yeah.”

No kidding. Through the rest of the video, we see that six more men are bound, locked in a cage, strung up in a net and taped to the floor, and the singer loves every bit of it. As she says, there is truly nothing sweet about her.

16-year-old star

So who is this singer? Gabriella Cilmi is a 16-year-old singer from Australia. Sweet About Me, which she wrote, is her debut single, released in March, 2008. In May, her song knocked Madonna from the No. 1 spot on Britain’s top 10 chart.

An article in Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper on July 13, 2008, reported that Sweet About Me spent six weeks in the British top 10. On iTunes charts, Cilmi was No. 2 in Germany and Portugal, No. 3 in Switzerland and No. 5 in Italy.

I am appalled. Yes, the tune is catchy, but the lyrics and imagery of Sweet About Me are truly disturbing.

I suppose the same could be said about many music videos—especially the gangsta rap variety—but I don’t have first-hand knowledge because I don’t watch MTV. But when messages like “the climax of the perfect lie,” along with images of bondage and torture, are being glamorized, it’s no wonder that the world’s population of sociopaths seems to be growing.

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The culture is infested with this psycho dynamic. And I find it disturbing that a young woman is empowered by dominating. Though I have to say having grown up as a woman- I can see why young women are attracted to “turning-the-tables” but I have learned through this experience with psychos- I want no power and control games in my intimate relationships.

Watch Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen, read Hemingway (there’s actually a clinical article on him as NPD) —-the sin of pride,narcissism, psychopathy, is the theme. Hemingway is taught in schools.


Dear holywater: This blogg is good for figuring out who and what is running for the highest office in our country. Their decision making affects the rest of us. Therefore, with that said … we can make wiser decisions when we cast our votes.

What I am seeing in the media is the spin doctors weaving their magic on Palin’s life … soccer mom, strong independent woman, church goer, yadda, yadda, yadda not saying she is mentally crippled with her own mental health issues of Narcissism and what other afflictions she has and hasn’t looked at herself to know she has to work them out with a mental health professional.


Ox Drover

It is upsetting to me that the media glamourizes violence, sex, drugs etc. under “free speech,” but it is “make a buck” and has great influence on young teenagers who want to be “cool.” They wouldn’t be able to do this if it “didn’t sell.” Obviously it DOES SELL.

There is no longer ANY censorship that I am aware of on violence, language, or “perversions” depicted in music or videos. So we are then “shocked” at what our kids are doing with sex, drugs, etc.

IN the US many parents are home or private schooling their kids to keep them out of the sight of a great deal of the “media” but it is still “piped into” most homes, or available on the Internet. One of my friend’s kids had a neighbor kid whose parents had tried to get him off of internet porno (he’s 12) and he would come to my friend’s house after school and get on the computer THERE and go to the GRAPHIC PORNO sites, until finally my friend’s son told him what was going on with this kid.

I realize that especially in our society, sex is not always taught as it should be, but exposing kids to nasty porno at a young age (and kids are curious after all, especially about this) isn’t going to do them any “good” for sure.

Parenting today (and thank God I am not faced with that task right now) has got to be a very difficult job, even more so than when the media wasn’t quite as bad during the time when I was raising mine.


Oxy: I learned all this in my managerial classes … especially hiking up the heat during the holiday shopping season … the higher heat makes the shopper uncomfortable without understanding why … therefore, grab anything as a gift to give, pay for it and get out of the store … next customer. Same with all the baloney that’s been on TV since the end of the 80’s. Yes, it is for selling purposes (sex sells), but it’s also to confuse the masses … controlling techniques … so busy putting out the fires … don’t have time to look up at who’s controlling all this, who’s allowing it to go on?

Nuf said. There are more tactics that are used to control the masses … tune in.



Oxy: I meant 60s, not 80’s. Sorry for the typo. I’m tired, I’m logging off.

My fav song by Carly Simon: “You probably think the song is about you, don’t you…YOU’RE SO VAIN”

hahahahah…written about Warren Beatty…


I’m thinking Phil Collins must have been married to a S/P. I was listening to “That’s All”, and it just really sounds like someone we all know..he has a couple of other tracks that sound like the musings of one hurt by an S/P too.. and some of his later stuff sounds so angry, bitter and hurt.


I dunno this video seemed a little tongue in cheek to me, like she is getting revenge for all the videos showing men abusing women. Don’t hate me, but I thought it was kind of funny, and pretty tame compared to most american videos.. which I can’t even bring myself to watch anymore.

ian in hamburg

There’s a message in the song that should be heeded: that sociopaths lurk underneath the most innocent and attractive surfaces and that one should be wary of them. It doesn’t celebrate sociopathic behaviour, it spreads the word on how dangerous they are.


I had to chime in because I am kind of horrified that this is an issue. Art is meant to reflect the times so stop shooting the messenger. It’s dangerous business to censor art.
Is that what is being suggested? ( I hear only criticism, not solutions offered here- very very negative huh?)

So a sixteen year old girl is singing a song that satirises the time? (she’s not the only one). Maybe she’s a volunteer puppet of the powers that be (in this case xenomania- an organisation said to embrace all cultures- and provided the lyrics and production for the singer). That’s not so unusual, the monkees were similarly used in the 60’s.

And what is the time? May I remind you (especially the Americans posting here) that the world is on fire right now? You represent a nation that invaded a sovereign country. You represent a nation who went against the UN to do so. You represent a nation who tortured people at Abu Ghraib. I think the real tragedy is that you choose to focus on a song you don’t like, rather than the fact that millions are in misery because of what is happening in Iraq. That is sociopathic in my mind.

It makes me want to cry and vomit all at once to think that people from a country that has caused so much misery in the world gets all uppity and self righteous about a song! The rest of the west who got suckered in along with America need to think seriously about what we represent too.

I say let the youth express themselves. The times are tragic and sociopathic, and so that will be expressed in art (sexuality too!) There are young men and women dying, for real right now. There are young men who are indeed being stood on and tied up, just because you don’t like to see it, doesn’t mean you can keep on ignoring it. The stupid American “nuke ’em ’til their pants are on fire” dominating the world redneck attitude is OVER.

If you don’t like the song, don’t watch it and don’t listen to it.

But don’t do the same thing with this war. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening and that you had nothing to do with it. You did. And it’s the kids who are going to have to clean up our mess.

You can make a fuss over a song? Are you kidding me? Make a fuss over the things that truly matter. People’s physical lives matter more than your passing sense of self righteousness. The real pornography is war. Let the artists wake the sleeping world up.

Why don’t you ban wars instead of art?

strong faith

here’s a list of other songs people were “offended by” and “shocked by” and tried to ban.
“I’m fixin to die rag”
“when I’m cleanin’ windows” (about voyeurism no less- shock – awe!!!)
Masochism tango (Tom Lehrer)!


Dear strongfaith: Not to put you down, but, since when did average citizens have anything to do with what our leaders do or don’t do? We have no power to tell them what or what not to do while they hold office. Just as others throughout the world have no power over what their leaders do or don’t do. Yes, we vote. Then the person voted in holds office for at least 4 years. We do not decide others votes in this country. We cast a single vote. Conscientious voters hope we are voting the right person in office and that is as far as it goes. The only thing we can do is voice our opinions in print, in movies, in songs, in other avenues.

I personally think the leaders of countries should put boxing gloves on and go round for round when they don’t agree with their opponents from other nations … aka let the best slugger fight it out in the ring. But, noooooooooooooooo, life is not that simple. Maybe that’s why they insist women don’t get to the top of the political heap … maybe, just maybe she’d slap them all silly and tell them “shame on you”, you’re standing in that corner with no super and you’re grounded for a month … no friends coming over to the white house.




I’m a little confused by why you would go off on Americans in this instance. If you scroll up, you’ll see it was a reader from the UK who wrote in upset about this song. How could we Americans be uppity about the song when nobody here has ever even heard of it? The UK reader who posted about it said it was playing all over *London*. Got it? London. Not the evil United States.

George Bush is responsible for a lot of things, but he’s not responsible for a silly video by a Lindsay Lohan wannabe with imitation Russell Brand hair, nor the fact that some woman in the UK writes to Lovefraud upset about it. Let’s get a grip over there.

I hardly think


And another thing if you notice this about most people … they will object to anything new, just because it is new and foreign to their senses. That’s human nature at it’s best … until they get used to it. Once it has been brought into the mainstream … then is when it is really looked at in any depth and then as usual, it no longer is such a big deal.

The average person focuses on what they can do in their personal surroundings … and for the bigger issues … little by little getting the message from one person they know to the next until another person they know gets the message to the people who can make changes. And changes do get made, just not as quickly as you would like.



Lesley .. well put!

I’m not one of those that thinks art censorship is dangerous.. but I do not see the harm in this song. If anything it’s a warning to men to stop thinking that women are pushovers who won’t bite back.


I agree that it would be wrong to stamp out all forms of art one thinks are offensive – like those movies. You should watch those movies, and you won’t want them censored by the government.

The problem is lack of parental involvement. You shouldn’t need the government to step in & parent your children, you should be doing it yourself. I see too many people act like – well, my kid’s underage drinking and they’re like “nothing I can do about it” because they’re a teenager or whatnot. When YES, there IS something you can do about it. You can stop shielding them from the law & consequences, for one thing.
Sorry, but that aggravates me when parents claim they have no control over their kids, and have to just “let them go do what they’re going to do”. It’s BULL.
You don’t want your kids listening to certain kinds of music. DOn’t give them the money for the CD, and don’t allow it to be played in the house. AND EXPLAIN WHY. Maybe they’ll listen to it a friend’s house – but at least you’re sticking to your moral guns, and your kids will, even if not immediately, respect that. More than kids would respect a parent who says “don’t do that”, but then does nothing to enforce it or explain it.

Anyway, songs like that always creep me out. I think of that one song, “choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep” or whatever… song back in the late 80s or early 90s. Sounded to me like someone who was either a sociopath, or WANTED to be one.

Yes, there are probably many young female sociopaths who will see that video, and think it’s cool. But I don’t think that video or that song will CREATE a sociopath out of a loving caring conscientious young woman.


Sorry – just re-read that and it wasn’t clear.
By “those movies” – I mean movies about censorship. Or books. Like 1984. Farenheight 451. That one with Christian Bale. Etc.

Put the label “art” on something and it becoms sancrosanct.
That said, I don’tlike censorship- I prefer “sink of swim”…Michelangelo had a death threat (from Pope!) ove rhis head, and patrons who commissioned “snow men” ( no joke)..I think he did OK…even without apologists and the NEA


Just watched the video, but I dont see the video in the way described in the post. I see it more, like, that men easily project a persona onto a female who looks cute (sweet), and she has a nasty streak. Isnt that part of being human??. We cant all possibly be mild mannered and sweet all the time. I thought I would risk this one!! I like a good debate.


James and Beverly: If you are referring to one u-tube, then it switched to another … I didn’t see the video about what Beverly is referring too … I saw the one with Robert Kennedy.

Oh, well, progress of electronics at it’s best.


Donna – just saw the video –
At the end, she releases the pulley so the upside down boy is almost dropped – almost.

I think that the video is something of a “girl power” thing, and if you don’t listen to the lyrics, it is sort of schadenfreude for teen aged girls, over-reacting to the boys, perhaps. And the tune is catchy.

But the lyrics with the visuals. ugh.


Free: As humans we all have egos. Ego is part of the human condition (remember eating the fruit in the garden of Eden?). It’s whether egos are in check (humble) or out of control (self centered, self absorbed) is when harmony is replaced by chaos.



Free: The ego is the opening of Pandora’s box.


Free I agree with you about the song.. I know now that I’m a different person.. my sweetness too is gone. I guess I’m just another bitter middle aged woman now, but at least my eyes are open.

Guys I can’t find the posts where we are planning a pre-Christmas party in NYC.. lol.. but I’d like to get together when/if possible.


kat: read up through the blogs in the past 2 days and look for Iwonder’s blogs.


Oh I forgot. Cris Rock said he was traveling around Europe. He went to the bank to exchange $3,000.00 US dollars. They looked at him and gave him a loaf of bread. That was his joke about what the American dollar is worth today.


If anyone is confused about the bank bail out. Look up the word “GREED” in your search engines on the net. You’ll see it loud and clear what is going on with our country and the big egos.



dear free; and everyone here. i am an aussie and i like this song its big over here, i am not that young either. i think it is to be taken as a womans lib song if you really think about the deeper meaning of it all together words and visuals too. the woman young and old in australia are being very strong lately and me included, since ex s path experience. this young woman is strong and she is sweet too she is saying hey guys dont mess with me just cause i look pretty and sweet i am not here for you to play with, like the spaths do. i totally get this girl i am sweet too and look sort of innocent just the type the s paths go for right we know that dont we. but now i want to say to all the men i meet i am sweet but dont mess with me . fair enough to say this its about time the young woman around the world are getting wiser and wiser and thank god for this she is spreading the word to all about guys young and old messing with the heads of our pretty and sweet innocent woman. how can any one woman or man be angry about this . its real and its how the world is if youve been there with the s path you know this . after the s path i would of strung him up too like the men in the video how many of us felt like revenge on them. we may be sweet but the world just isnt any more . this song is empowering come on just think about it in the right light. she is being tongue in cheek about it she probably already knows a few s paths i think she is talking from past experience . how many s paths have thought oh shes sweet, innocent i can really screw with her mind and she wont do a thing about it either. i know its just how it was for me. or also maybe she is saying those sweet innocent guys you meet watch out cause there not that sweet after all .my ex s path tried to be as sweet and innocent as he could to get me. she is saying be ware to all, both sexes to the s path everyone kind sweet and innocent is ripe for the picking. she is saying watch out i aint that stupid or sweet, good for her its about time young girls start learning about this stuff so that they dont have to go thru what we have its is so positive i cant tell you how much we need this to come out in the open . and she is making it cool to say i am young but i am strong and i dont have to be sweet for men if i dont want to. i wish we could tell more young people especially woman about this horrible stuff some people can do to your mind and your whole life. education on this is the answer for all young people around the whole world good on her…………. and also george bush probably a s path too, look closer at what he has done. but i dont think this is the place for political arguements. love to all .


I am living in the UK and there hasnt been any outrage about this song, I think the video is tongue in cheek as one blogger has already mentioned. Black humour. The music industry always makes shock value videos to help market an average song which this is, remember it is allegedly written by a 16 yr old girl. I dont know if you got the video for Tatu over there, there was outrage in the uk about that, and the single was very successful in the charts.


Guess who ?

This artical is Good ! Its just that the truth is so bad!

I know that Satan was the angel of music ! remember back in the 80s Backmasking ? In colege they the Fundamentalist got me to throw out some of my music but when they wanted me to Quit Drinking BEER I had to put my foot down !:)~

My point is this Now they don’t have to hide it anywhere in a dvd cover or mumble it real soft ! they can blaintly Scream it at the top of thier Lungs and get Paid very very well for it , and the tune ? THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP

In Lord of the Rings THUMP was the sound of impending DOOM !

But maybe it’s just me ! love jere

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